Daytrip to Akaroa

Two or three weeks ago I went on a little daytrip to Akaroa, a little coastal town 40-50 kilometres from where we live in Gebbies Pass. Thought you might like the photos!

Screenshot off Google Earth. I know I shouldn't, really, but this software is so great!

On the way back I took a sideroad which, at times, wasn't much more than a farmtrack. Nevertheless, it went right over the hills and some pretty scenic high country.

There it is, the road across the mountains - on the top right of that hill. See? Not that paddock track in the bottom, but a darkish line in top right. That's where I came down from. 

Surprising escapees

We learned an important lesson yesterday. Turns out, under all that fluff and feathers, ducklings' bodies don't take up even nearly as much space as it may seem.

You know how we know that? Because we finished building and fencing off their yard - beautiful, sheltered yard - and let them in it. Promptly, they squeezed through the fencing and were off. We were like... woah!

Luckily, they didn't know where else to go, so they sat down right outside the fence and we herded them into a box.

I think we'll wait another two weeks until we try out that yard again =)

Nom, nom, nom

How do you tell if the baby has gotten into hubby's chocolate stash?

There's very loud "Nom, nom, nom" coming from the bedroom.

Ducklings are three weeks old

Duckies are three weeks old. We still bring them inside overnight, but at least they get to spend time on the grass during daytime hours.

Hubby built them a sturdy shelter with a ramp and two doors for ease of cleaning. They don't really like the house yet, but that's alright - they'll get there.

Hubby's also put up a temporary fence to keep them in place. In another week or two we'll have a whole yard area fenced off and then duckies will have a whole yard to explore. It's pretty exciting!

Now we just have to wait and hope that at least one of them is an egg-laying girl =).

Come walk with me

It is raining today. There was a brief break in the clouds and I packed the kid in a carrypack to use this time for a little walk. Grabbed the camera with me just as I was about to leave the house.

Our driveway winds up a good kilometre before it reaches this gate. I can only faintly hear the sound of occasional heavy traffic down on the highway. There is a logging company nearby, their machines puff and pant as they push up the road.

Down towards the east Lyttelton, Governor's Bay and Diamond Harbour are nestled among the bays.

Southwest, logging trucks push their way up and down the curves.

Looking back towards the house, freeranging chicken wander along the driveway. Cockerel focuses on his flock of hens, rather than pecking for worms. Pff... men.

I make my way up the hill towards the turbine. Grass is glassy and slick.

It is interesting how houses seem to take up so much more space as I walk further. Down in the yard it all seems so compact, and yet from up above it's taking up a whole hillside.

Wind turbine is off today.

Space, aahh...

Walking down an old chookhouse gets in the way demanding to be taken a picture of. And so I 'click'.

I often wonder if we will still be living here when The Kid is old enough to appreciate the possibilities of this back yard.

It is open towards the southeast....

...towards the east...

...and so sheltered towards the west.

Walking down the slope, you can hardly see the house for all the foliage.

And then of course there is Molly, keeping an eye on us.

Isn't this place just asking for a picnic?

Afew minutes later, a scratched up lawn and a happy chicken greet me by the house. Oh well, I guess that's the side effect of free ranging... anything.

I know, I know - it's pretty.

And the favorite toy is?

Washing pegs.

That's how we roll.

Duckhouse in the making

Our two ducklings, still unnamed, are growing mighty fast. If anything, it is getting tiresome feeding them - because apart from that they're pretty low maintenance. Still tucked away in a cardboard box in our kitchen, they eat, poop, sleep, make a mess and cheep. And when do they cheep? They cheep when they know that it's time to give them worms, woodlice and spiders, which is increasingly more often as they grow bigger each day.

And so, soon it is time they move out of the kitchen.

Hubby has been building them a duckhouse. It isn't finished yet, but it looks impressive already. There's a front door which becomes a ramp when it's open, and a back door for cleaning it out and maybe looking for eggs if any of our ducklings turns out to be a girl (fingers crossed!).

The plan is to stick it on a little platform under our kitchen window and fence it off, so they can't wander away at nighttime and feral cats can't wonder in.

And then at daytime we will let them into our little sideyard where they can look for insects until their heart's content. It isn't fenced off yet, but we're getting there.

It's looking promising.